"Blackhawks’ ‘The Stripper’ Is Gone But Sexism Remains" by Kate Cimini for The Hockey Writers.

Many articles have been celebrating the fact that the Blackhawks will no longer play ‘The Stripper’ during shoot the puck. I, too, am glad the franchise is listening to its fan base to a certain extent.

Marissa Miller, a Blackhawks fan and a woman, circulated a petition online with three main points regarding the way the Blackhawks directly and indirectly objectify and ignore their female fans. Firstly, the petition demanded that the Blackhawks ban the use of ‘The Stripper’ that the organist would play while a woman chosen at “random” from the audience, always dressed in high heels and tight or revealing clothing, shot the puck between periods. Second, the petition required that the team provide alternate attire for the Ice Girls and third, that the Blackhawks hire women as moderators for the panels during their regular summer convention.

Read the full article here.

"The Minnesota Wild: 7 Bold Predictions For Next Season" by Dustin Nelson for The Hockey Writers.

It’s approaching tradition in the hum-drum between the beginning of August up until camp opens in September, that writers offer some barely defensible predictions about the coming season based on some loose facts and a pinch of hubris that we like to call a “gut feeling.”

Well, I’m pushing my chips to the center of the table. The dealer asks Don’t you want to look at your cards first? I sip my appletini, look him in the eyes, and, with a slight twitch in my eye, ask, What cards?

Here are seven predictions for the Minnesota Wild’s 2014-15 season.

Read the full article here.

"Jean-Sebastien Giguere Announces Retirement" by Ron Knabenbauer for the Colorado Avalanche’s official site. 

After 16 NHL seasons, a Conn Smythe Trophy and a Stanley Cup championship, former Colorado Avalanche goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere is calling it a career.
Giguere, 37, announced Thursday he is retiring from the NHL, ending a career that saw him win 262 games in 597 regular-season contests. He made the announcement in Quebec with the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada hockey team, where he is a part owner of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League franchise.

The Montreal native spent most of the last three seasons in a backup role for the Avalanche and helped in the development of goalie Semyon Varlamov.

Read the full article here. 

"Jean-Sebastien Giguere Announces Retirement" by Ron Knabenbauer for the Colorado Avalanche’s official site. 

After 16 NHL seasons, a Conn Smythe Trophy and a Stanley Cup championship, former Colorado Avalanche goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere is calling it a career.

Giguere, 37, announced Thursday he is retiring from the NHL, ending a career that saw him win 262 games in 597 regular-season contests. He made the announcement in Quebec with the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada hockey team, where he is a part owner of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League franchise.

The Montreal native spent most of the last three seasons in a backup role for the Avalanche and helped in the development of goalie Semyon Varlamov.

Read the full article here. 

"Los Angeles Kings Need Slava Voynov to Rebound in 2014-15" by Vinh Cao for Bleacher Report.

The Los Angeles Kings’ defensive corps figures to sport a slightly different look next season, and Slava Voynov will play a crucial role in determining its success.

Since the 24-year-old’s NHL debut in 2011-12, he has enjoyed the safety net of veteran blueliners Willie Mitchell and Rob Scuderi by his side. They’re both in the Eastern Conference now, with question marks in Robyn Regehr, Jeff Schultz and Brayden McNabb vying for the vacant spot on the second defensive pair.

Read the full article here.

"Charlie Coyle and Alex Tuch of the Minnesota Wild Could Be the New ‘Bash Brothers’" from Rant Sports.

It’s been over two decades since the classic film “D2” was released and the world was introduced to the ‘Bash Brothers’ Fulton Reed and Dean Portman. The Minnesota Wild have a chance to recreate the “Bash Brothers” in Minneapolis with current forward Charlie Coyle and prospect Alex Tuch.

Coyle has established himself as a rising star and his mix of skill, physicality and tenacity make him tough to compete against on a night in, night out basis. The best is yet to come for the Weymouth, Ma. native, and with a new contract looming on the horizon, expect his productivity to continue.

Read the full article here. 

"[Wild About Numbers]: Comparing the Centremen of the Central Division" by Ger Devine for Hockey Wilderness.

Back on the 7th of July, in his always entertaining ‘What We Learned’ column on Puck Daddy, Ryan Lambert linked to an article about the Wild and commented about said article:

The thing that might hold the Wild back from really competing in their division is the fact that Mikko Koivu and Mikael Granlund really don’t stack up against Alex Steen and Paul Stastny, Jonathan Toews and Brad Richards, Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon, or Tyler Seguin and Jason Spezza. Still better than Nashville, though.

Read the full article here. 

"Backtracking on the Sharks Rebuild" by Dustin Nelson for The Hockey Writers. 

Sharks coach Todd McLellan did an interview for NHL.com’s “Five Questions series on Tuesday and started an interesting new chapter in San Jose’s offseason drama. The responses conform to the team’s recent policy of making everything nearly impossible to understand, artfully dodging any sort of committal statement. However, there appears to be a shift in tone taking place that may give hints as to where general manager Doug Wilson and the Sharks’ rebuild is headed.

Read the full article here. 

"Stars excited to build off trip to playoffs" from the 30 in 30 series at NHL.com. Article by Dan Rosen. 

The Dallas Stars learned how to win last season with little expected of them. They wound up in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in six years.

"I think we did surprise a few people," Stars coach Lindy Ruff told NHL.com.

They won’t anymore.

If the Stars don’t wind up in the playoffs again this season they’ll be seen as a disappointment because expectations on them are rising now that Ruff and general manager Jim Nill have their fingerprints all over the team.

Read the full article here. 

"Stars GM Jim Nill engrossed in advanced statistics; finding right balance still a challenge" by Michael Florek for the Dallas Morning News.

Five or six years ago, a group approached the Detroit Red Wings with a promise to provide a whole new set of statistics.

Its plan: Hire 100 college students to compile every sort of data possible, then give it to the Red Wings to analyze.

Jim Nill, Detroit’s assistant general manager at the time, heard the pitch and questioned its feasibility.

“It always came down to, ‘How reliable is the information?’ ” Nill said. “That’s always the question mark.”

Read the full article here.

Jordan Schroeder: Potential vs. Production by Dustin Nelson for The Hockey Writers. 

Most off-season moves involving a player likely to spend the majority of his time in the AHL doesn’t generate much interest. There are exceptions, but the majority of fans want to see where the Thomas Vaneks and Paul Statsnys are headed and then their interest turns back to baseball or Perez Hilton or whatever it is people do when they aren’t mainlining hockey. Jordan Schroeder is a special case though. Minnesota Wild fans have shown a special interest in his signing for a number of reasons.

Many fans have shown excitement because of Schroeder’s history with the Gophers, some fondly reminisced about playing high school hockey with Schroeder in Minnesota, others indulged in an “I told you so” reverie as many Minnesota fans had wanted the Wild to draft Schroeder in 2009 instead of defenseman Nick Leddy (who is also a Minnesota native and was traded to Chicago for a box of pens caps and tooth decay).

Read the full article here.